The ECB figures are published in an article in Thursday’s edition of the financial daily ‘De Tijd’. The ECB surveyed 62,000 families from across the Eurozone about their expenditure during 2010. The families were asked if their expenditure was greater during the past year than their income.
48% of Belgian families questioned said that they had been able to save. These were mainly home-owners. Just a third of the families that rent their homes said that they had been able to save.
Based on the ECB’s figures 130,000 Belgian families have debts amounting to more than the total value of their possession. 2.7% of the almost 4.8 million families in Belgium have debts amounting to more than the total value of their property and financial means
Professor Ides Nicaise of Leuven University’s Research Institute for Work and Society told the paper that those unable to save run a greater risk of falling into debt.
"If you are unable to save this often means that your income is too low and that your debts gradually accrue. The slightest mishap is enough to plunge you into debt problems.”
However, the number of families in a financial hole is lower in Belgium than in most other Eurozone countries. The average family in Belgium has asset of 338.000 euro. This falls to just 2,800 euro for the bottom 10% and 700,000 euro from the top 10%.
Despite more than half of us being unable to save, there has never been more cash deposited on savings accounts in Belgium. In June the total amount on savings accounts here rose to 245 billion euro. Belgians save an average of 16% of their income. However, this percentage includes money invested in building and renovating homes.